Great news! We are delighted to be working with Grayshott Parish Council to be part of bringing a Community Orchard to Grayshott!
COPSE are engaging with the local community to help create a vision for what this orchard might look like and how it could be used.
We’ll be asking ‘How might you use the shared space?’ That might look like a forest school space for nurseries linked to the EYFS, or an outdoor classroom space for school children linked to the National Curriculum, outdoor activities for Scouts, or well-being and natural health activities to support mental health across the ages, conservation tasks or gardening clubs – the list is potentially endless!
And let’s not forget life’s simple orchard pleasures like a space to read a book, or sit and chill under the canopy of a blossoming tree....?
Spring is in the air, let’s look forward.
At COPSE we’re always looking at ways to improve our environmentally-aware orchard care. Often we find the trees bend over a little to one side in the prevailing wind so need tying to help them with their upward growth and to stabilise their roots. During January’s lockdown we visited Wrecclesham and treated the trees to new firmer biodegradable natural tree ties made of jute webbing..
Whilst we still have a few apples on our garden tree, we have also taken advantage of nature’s bounty to make a winter favourite - slow gin! On pre-lockdown travels in Dorset we walked along the cliffs rising to Ballard Down to collect sloes, and then later when travelling in Devon we gathered medlars dropped from trees in a Totnes churchyard. So in this past week we’ve started off the Sloe Gin and made medlar jelly. Here’s some pictures, recipes to follow....
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Gareth is an ecologist interested in conserving traditional orchards and heritage fruit, for people and wildlife.